A Touch of Lunacy Ch. 07byc_kitten©
I sneaked into the kitchen and leaned against the door, taking a few deep calming breaths. Today was getting weird. I had come down from my room at the insistence of Jennifer. She had crossed her arms and stared me down. I hadn't seen Donovan in a few days. Jennifer told me that he was hiding out in his rooms.
"He's the alpha and he hasn't been acting like one at all. You're supposed to be his mate. You're not acting like one either. You're going to get up and go out and meet the pack." I'd started to argue but she just stared me down. She had her arms crossed and had years of bossing around people, her son mainly but others had gotten bossed around as well. My own mother wasn't like that, but in middle school I had met a mother that had decided everyone was her responsibility. Jennifer had the same look in her eye. She'd gotten fed up and, by god, she was going to set things in motion to make it right.
Of course, she wasn't the one that had to look people in the eye and apologize for kicking them in the balls some weeks earlier. Everyone had been surprisingly good-natured about it. Some sniffed me, some licked my hands. A young girl held her hands out to me. When I knelt down to her height, she leaned in and licked my cheek. I was left blinking confusion.
The place was fairly large. I'd learned that this was the pack's estate. The alphas could live in the house. There were cabins scattered through the estate where other pack members stayed. A few lived in town. But the mansion itself had a main hall about the size of a high school football field that took up most of the mansion's size where pack liked to hang out. I had spent most of the time apologizing in there.
I shook myself, resolving to be strong. I didn't have time for anxiety. I had decided, at Jennifer's urging, to make the most of what I had. I might not have chosen this, but I could choose how to handle it.
I was getting a glass of water when someone came into the kitchen. I glanced over and paused. There was an angry woman glaring at me. She'd been following me around all morning, making snide remarks to anyone close to her. I had an idea who she was. She stepped up to me, invading my space. Jennifer had told me not to back down from anyone; if you were dominant to someone, you didn't back down. If I was really going to be the Alpha's mate, then I couldn't back down to anyone.
"Are you going to fuck him," she snapped. I blinked a long slow blink. I had not expected that. She squinted her eyes and I could hardly stand the rage that seethed within them. "Well? He's a fucking monster that should have died. He's worthless. Are you going to let him touch you? Don't you fucking dare. Don't give him strength. I swear, I will kill you if you help him."
"Get. Out. Of. My. Face." My anger rose slowly and wrapped around me like a warm living thing. Surprise startled the rage from the woman's face. She actually took a step back before she realized what she was doing and she took the step back. Her hand flashed through the air before it connected with my face. It sent me reeling. It was a simple open handed slap, but it almost sent me flying with the force. God, there was so much strength. She had expected me to go down but when I only stumbled and righted myself, she was surprised.
I didn't think about it. I smashed the glass into her face and punched with my free hand, turning my body into it hard and fast. The woman stumbled back, going down when she tripped over her own feet. She blinked up in shock, glass in her face and blood dripping down. I had a feeling people just took shit from her and wasn't used to someone saying no.
"Do you know who I am?" She yelled. Her voice was a little high pitched with fear. This wasn't going the way she wanted. She had wanted to scare me, to make me back off. She wanted Donovan broken. Her daughter was dead; why hadn't he died too? She was going to rip the pack apart to do it.
"Yes. I know who you are." I shoved aside doubts. "You are a bitter old woman that used to belong to the pack. Get out of here. Take whatever is yours but get out of here. Never set foot onto the estate again." She blinked in surprise. I heard whispers eand gasps. I resisted the urge to glance to the door. I knew it was in my right to exile someone. If I was mate to the pack's leader, I could do this. It could rub a lot of people the wrong way, but I could do it.
"Melanie died! He killed her! He killed her!"
"Shut up. He didn't kill her. Nightwalkers killed her. And you are nothing but harmful to the pack now. Get out of here."
She got to her feet, a little shaky. She glared at those crowded in the door. She stood up straight, setting her shoulders back. "You're just going to accept this? My husband's an alpha! You can't just get rid of me. My husband won't stand for it and you will all suffer for not aiding me."
"An alpha doesn't need the aid of a lesser," a voice called from the back of the crowd. Judy frowned and launched herself back at me. It was so sudden. She was able to get me down before I realized what was going on. She was raking her nails down my face but decided it wasn't enough. Her hands closed around my throat and started squeezing.
People rushed in but she snapped, "An alpha doesn't need the aid of a lesser. If you help her, then she can't kick me out. I'm not going to accept this." She leaned in closer and whispered against my cheek. "Maybe if I kill you, it'll push him over the edge and they'll put him down like the dog he is."
My arms weren't strong enough to pry her hands away. Her ear was right at my mouth. I tried to lean up to bite, maybe rip it away, but I couldn't reach. My vision was starting to blacken around the edges. I tried to punch her face, but couldn't get the momentum to even make her lessen her grip. She leaned in, a terribly satisfied grin on her face.
"What the hell is this," someone snapped. Judy startled enough to loosen her grip. I sucked in air and threw her off. I glanced back to find Donovan standing in the door. Everyone had backed away but were still trying to get a look.
"You'll come to this whore's rescue but you let my dear sweet Melanie die," Judy screeched. She glanced around and grabbed a kitchen knife, launching herself at Donovan. The fight ended before it really began. Donovan didn't want to hurt her but she didn't have any reservations about it. Judy didn't have a mark on her when the fight was over, but Donovan had a few deep cuts.
"Someone get Miller in here. Tell him his wife has acted shamefully."
An older man stepped through the crowd, looking slightly embarrassed. He helped Judy to her feet and led her away. Donovan snapped at everyone to go back to their own business. He helped me to my feet awkwardly. His hands sort of fluttered around as if her weren't sure what to do. Eventually he settled on sticking them in his pockets and leaned against the counter.
"This place is going to get me killed," I muttered. Donovan shrugged. I winced as I started picking glass out of my hand. It wasn't the smartest move but smashing the glass into her face would leave an impression.
"Let me do that." Donovan grabbed a dishtowel and started picking the glass out carefully. When he finished, he leaned over and started licking the blood away. I tried to pull my hand away but he tightened his grip. It wasn't painful, but it was too weird. He released my hand and I wiped my hand off on a clean dishtowel.
"You have to do something about that crazy bitch."
Donovan sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "I can't."
"Why the hell not? She's trying to get you killed. She just tried to kill me, if you didn't realize that. Also, she sort of ripping this pack apart."
"Why the hell not?"
"She's all I have left of Melanie! That crazy evil bitch is all I have left of Melanie," he yelled before falling to his knees crying. I wanted to kick myself but I figured that I had already gotten enough of a beating from Judy earlier anyway. I knelt beside him and awkward hugged him.
"Uh... need help?" I glanced up at Joe peeking into the kitchen. I nodded. He knelt on the other side of Donovan and hugged him around the shoulder.
"Come on. Let's retreat to the master suite," Joe said. He helped Donovan to his feet and offered a hand to me. We got him up to his room and I froze at the complete disarray of the room. It looked like no one had even taken a duster to the room in over a year or even tried to sort things into something like piles.
"It isn't a complete bio hazard. He just doesn't like anyone coming in and touching his stuff," Joe said. Donovan shot him a glare and stalked across the room and slammed through a door. Joe shrugged and sat on something that I assume was a sofa somewhere under the pile of stuff.
"He doesn't really let anyone in here. I've tried to get him to let someone at least tidy up but..."
"He's a hoarder."
"What? No. Well... maybe. But I don't think so."
Donovan peeked out through the door he had disappeared through. "Get out Joe. Katherine... you don't have to leave but you don't have to stay." He disappeared again. Joe shrugged and headed to the door.
"I can continue showing you around the estate, if you want," Joe offered from the door. I shook my head and heading back to talk to Donovan. I heard the door click behind me and felt the complete silence in the room. I didn't know what to say to Donovan. I didn't think there was a way to make it better. I don't think there's ever a way to make it better.